If you are female, don’t even bother reading any further. If you are male and happen to be a bit effeminate, go with the girls. If you are offended by the first two sentences, don’t think about reading on. If you happen to be a hermaphrodite, it’s your call. Just be warned, this is man’s stuff.
I would like to tell you that I had boiled this up in an old oil drum somewhere in the backwoods. That might be stretching veracity a bit. I would like to say I had just finished a high intensity session of weightlifting and general grunting in the gym. This would also be a reality extender. In truth, my Mum was unavailable for our regular Sunday Dinner. So, I was free to make a manly meal. The Wife agreeing, however reluctantly, that this Manly Beef Chili could be toned down with a bit of yoghurt.
I went through my chilli supply and picked out some chipotle, ancho, chilli de arbol and New Mexico (X Hot). I used a few of each. That’s the manly thing to do. Girls would have left out half the hot stuff.
The Other Ingredients
- 1.5 kilos of good beef chunks (shin is best)
- 3 onions
- 3 bell peppers
- .5 kilo of smoked bacon lardons
- .5 litre of beef stock
- .5 litre of beer
- Flour to dust the beef
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon of anchito paste
- 2 bay leaves
First, fry the lardons in the casserole to release their oil and flavour. Spoon them out, leaving the oil behind.
Dust the beef with the flour and fry it in the base of a large casserole.
While the beef is browning, slice the onions. Then add hot water to the chilis in a big bowl. Use about half a litre of boiling water.
Pour the chilis and water into a blender and mix to make a thick sauce.
The chilli sauce turns into a thick, rich, pungent, throat hacking half litre of deliciousness.
Even the most manly of us will gasp at the aromas emanating from the chilli sauce. Cough your way to the cooker and take the beef out of the casserole. Replace with the onions and turn the heat down to sweat them.
When they are sweated down, add the roughly chopped (you did chop them didn’t you?) bell peppers. Cook them until they too go a bit soft. Add the beer. Next add back the beef and the lardons, add in the beef stock, the teaspoon of anchito paste and the bay leaves. Cover your nose and pour in the chilli gloop.
Bring the whole lot to the boil. Turn it down and simmer it while the oven is reaching 180ºC. Place a lid on the casserole and pop it in the oven. Leave it there for an hour and a half, minimum. Take it out of the oven and check for flavour, and thickness of the sauce. It needs to be very thick, very hot and layered with different chilli flavours. Reduce it and season it on the stove-top until it is right.
Place some of it in a serving bowl. Surround it with bowls of hot dried chilis and take some photos. Be sure to pour a beer as, when you eat it, you will need the beer. You may also need a towel to mop your manly brow and the back of your thick neck. This one is a belter. If you are a big girl’s blouse, add a dash of yoghurt to cool it off (like I did, in the end).
This was hot, very hot. But, it was also very flavoursome and had real depth of chilli flavours. Man up and give it a go.